Have an amazing new business idea? Great, so does everyone else! The hard part is finding the funding…Not to worry, social media can help you find the business financing your startup needs! Traditionally, businesses without an established revenue have relied on unsecured lines of credit. These can work, but you’re sure to pay much more interest if you’re investment doesn’t have established sales. Instead, turn to social media for raising the money you need.
One extremely popular means of raising capital via social media is through crowdsourcing websites like KickStarter. These sites allow you to tap your social networks to raise support and awareness of your business idea. All you need to do is throw your idea onto the site along with whatever incentives you want to offer for investors. KickStarter will take 5% of the funds raised in exchange for an incredible platform to share your idea. They make it simple to like, tweet, share, and generally create buzz about your idea among various social media networks. From funding video games to breweries, everything and anything can be found on KickStarter and similar crowd funding websites.
Besides crowdsourcing, social media provides would-be businesses to find funds by directly reaching out to investors. Take LinkedIn for example, a professional network of over 225 million people. Within LinkedIn you’ll not only be able to search for potential investors by company, but also by title. LinkedIn will also show you how you’re connected via your own contacts. If you happen to have a contact who knows a potential venture capitalist or investor you can actually request they introduce you via LinkedIn emails.
While you can just run a quick search in LinkedIn for ‘investors’ or ‘venture capitalists’ you may also want to look through LinkedIn groups. A quick search for “small business funding” results in 95 different groups, “business financing” returns 426, and “startup financing” 30 more. Each of these groups can have thousands of members that might be interested in your idea. Get a business plan together and share it with the group or reach out to members individually. LinkedIn offers upgraded packages that allow you to email other people on LinkedIn directly with requests which is an easy way to share your business idea. Since LinkedIn is still mostly dominated by business professionals, you’ll have a much higher chance of connecting with people than you would via twitter or facebook where communication is much more cluttered.
There are many other social networks out there that are designed specifically for professionals in financial industries. Do a quick search for “social media networks for finance” and you’ll easily locate dozens of opportunities to establish a personal profile and start connecting.
Personal connection is really the key to getting your business financed; this is the same in real life as it is online. The main difference is that social media makes connecting with others exponentially easier and faster!
Do you know of any other means to get your business idea in front of potential investors via social media? Please share!